Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Solstice

I love the summer solstice! It means the fields and woods are filled with plants in bloom just begging to be harvested. They actually call you to collect them (it's true--ask any herbalist/plant-lover). 
We've been busy communing with some of our favorites: red clover, st. john's wort, nettle, yarrow, and plantain. All are abundant in this area at this time of the year. 

We celebrated the power of the sun on the solstice by collecting St. John's Wort (we go to the same spot every year), making hibiscus-rosehip sun tea, and making various tinctures with fresh herbs that we had collected that day.

 sun tea & st. john's wort tincture

left to right: 
red clover, ground ivy, chickweed, yarrow, indian pipe, & st john's wort tinctures

We have never harvested indian pipe before. 
Last summer we saw it in abundance and wanted to collect it, but never did. 
On the solstice we were taking a walk through the woods and saw a bunch of indian pipe. We crouched down to take a closer look and found the ground was almost covered with clusters of indian pipe popping up out of the dead leaves. We felt it was the right time and took one little stalk home with us. 
The tincture is beautiful is turning an eerie purple-blue. 
I will have to do some reading/research as I don't know a ton about indian pipe. I believe it looks scarier than it is and if I'm not mistaken my memory tells me that this plant was used as a sedative and nervine. I will have to look more into it though when I have time. 

Happy Summer Solstice everyone!